[The events of this post occurred Thursday, July 4, 2013. I’m that much of a slacker that I’m just now getting this published…]
After a very, very late night in Gunnison—and having a most excellent hangover thanks in large part to a very friendly bartender named Tom who let us stay after closing and continued to feed us beverages—we got back on the road and headed to Mesa Verdi National Park.
We drove around the park and looked at the cliff dwellings.
Then we headed to the town of Durango. We arrived in time to get a hotel, grab some dinner, then watch the fireworks the town put on.
After that, we ended up at a very tragic bar called the “Tavern” where some drunk lady attempted to accost both the Husbear and Dwayne. We promptly left because of the level of tragedy that existed, and headed back to the hotel to call it an early night.
290 miles traveled today, with altitude ranging from 5,787 feet to 10,203 feet in 8.5 hours.
[The events of this post occurred Wednesday, July 3, 2013.]
We left Grand Lake and headed north on Highway 34 through the Rocky Mountain National Park.
From Rocky Mountain National Park we took Highway 36 to Estes Park. In Estes Park we headed south down Colorado 7 to 72 until we got to Nederland, where we stepped over onto 119 (“Peak to Peak Scenic an Historic Byway”).
In Black Hawk, we headed South on 279 down to I70. Which we took down to the Copper Mountain Ski Area. From there, we jumped on Colorado 91 and headed to Leadville.
In Leadville we headed on Highway 24 down to Buena Vista where we got on County Road 306 to 209 to 742 down to Colorado 135 down to Gunnison.
In Gunnison, we ate at a place that had really bad service. Really bad. So bad I’ll tell you the name of the place so you can AVOID it: Gunnison Brewery. The service was so bad we promptly left after finally getting our food.
We stumbled into a place called the Brick Cellar, what I would call a martini bar. Sean from Idle Eyes and a Dormy would have thought he was in gay heaven. As soon as I walked in I knew I could live there forever. Seriously. Wonderful architecture. Cozy. Excellent bar. And friendly bartender.
We spent the rest of the night talking with friendly Bartender Tom until he closed the bar around midnight. After that, Tom showed us to a couple of other beveraging establishments next door.
The Husbear grew tired and headed back to the hotel.
Bartender Tom had to go clean the bar, and invited Dwayne and I back for a beverage. Where we proceeded to spend a good chunk of the early morning drinking and talking. And drinking some more. And showing us all the cool places in the building. And more drinking. We eventually stumbled back to the hotel and crashed for the night. The morning was going to hurt.
297 miles traveled today, with altitude ranging from 7,408 feet to 12,188 feet in 9 hours.
[The events of this post occurred Tuesday, July 2, 2013.]
We finally woke up in the morning after a late night. Well, two of us had a late night. And slight hangovers. And possibly the munchies. Apparently you can get a contact high by being around the locals in Colorado these days.
We checked out of the hotel in Manitou Springs and headed up to Pike’s Peak on Pikes Peak Highway. Driving. To the top. The Husbear has developed an odd fear of going off the edge of roads as of late. I’m not sure why.
After Pike’s Peak, we headed west on Highway 24. Somewhere along the way, the Husbear decided we should turn north on Elkhorn Road. Road. Dirt. Road. Which we took all the way north to Highway 285.
The brief time on Highway 285 didn’t last long. Where quickly turned north on Boreas Pass Road. Another dirt road. Which brought us into Arapaho National Forest. Which we took all the way to Highway 9 in Breckenridge.
We took Highway 9 up to Frisco to meet I70 for a quick jump back over to Highway 9 in Silverthorne. Which we took up to Ute Pass Road/Country Road 3 all the way until it merged into Highway 40 near Parshall. Near Granby we headed north on Highway 34 up to Grand Lake.
We arrived in Grand Lake at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park and decided to get a room and call it a day. Or a night, as it were.
We traveled 215 miles over a 9-hour period. Our minimum altitude was 7,415 feet and our maximum was 14,140 feet.
[The events of this post occurred Monday, July 1, 2013.]
After getting around, we headed out of Denver to go to Pike’s Peak.
The Husbear wanted to take the scenic route, as always.
Which ended up being a three-hour “tour” on several single-lane dirt roads through the mountains.
We finally arrived at the entrance to Pike’s Peak, where we were told because of an incoming storm they weren’t letting people up past a certain point. Well damn.
So we headed to Manitou Springs to walk around the Garden of the Gods. As we were arriving in Manitou Springs, the clouds opened up and a deluge happened.
So we thought instead we would go to Cave of the Winds. Since it is inside and all.
The rains stopped as we got to the cave. As we were waiting for our tour, a flash flood rolled into the canyon below us. Which was very impressive to see.
The Cave of the Winds is what I call a “Disney cave”, meaning it is all smoothed out and staged for the public. Not like most of the caves I grew up spelunking. But it got us out of the rain and was fun to walk through.
As we were leaving, the main highway had traffic stopped on it. The deluge caused a landslide that blocked the road. Luckily we were going in the opposite direction. Unlike the miles of traffic that were parked on it.
So we again headed to Garden of the Gods to walk around. Which we did. And took photos. And looked at the occasional eye candy.
It was time for dinner. So we headed into the historic area of Manitou Springs to get some food and find a hotel. Both of which we did. And then wandered to a few of the different bars here. After all, it was Beveraging Monday.
The Husbear was tired, so we found a hotel room. Conveniently located near the bar. Then Dwayne and I went back out after tucking the Husbear into bed.
And stayed out until 3 am talking with some of the locals….